Ruto allies claim State plans to starve his office of funds

Deputy President William Ruto addressing residents at Malava market on February 21, 2021. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The intrigues surrounding the purported planned ouster of Deputy President William Ruto have deepened following reports of a move to starve his office of cash.

Yesterday, the deputy president’s allies claimed the scheme was aimed at frustrating him by cutting down his budget so as to push him into resigning.

If true, it appears to be the final stages of the political break-up between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the DP and comes in the backdrop of a sustained push to have him to quit for working at cross-purposes with his boss.

Allies of Uhuru yesterday said it was no longer tenable for Ruto to continue serving as the country’s second in command, when he was at the same time "sabotaging" its development agenda.

On Saturday, Ruto claimed that there was a plot to kick him out of the government, barely a fortnight after Uhuru dared him to resign for criticising the administration.

“For those who want to drive the rest of us into a corner in a government that we created together; we want to tell them we are gentlemen so we are not going to respond to them,” said the DP.

“When we campaigned for the Jubilee government, was President Kenyatta with me or with the political conmen surrounding him now?”

They claimed that there was also a plan to withdraw security during his public engagements to push him into scaling down his political rallies.

 “It is not really about impeaching him, but frustrating him so that he can resign. You have seen them convene a Cabinet meeting but fail to invite him. What does that tell you?" posed Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa.

“But they should know that the DP will not resign. He will serve until the term of this government expires. We are also aware that they have started cutting down the allocation to his office,” added Barasa.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei and Soy MP Caleb Kositany claimed that the system had resorted to intimidation and blackmail after realising that they do not have numbers in Parliament to impeach the DP.

Kositany said he was surprised that people around Uhuru were determined to continue frustrating the DP when he has already been edged out of government.

“How much more can they push him out? He is already out of the government. He no longer gets invited to government functions,” said Kositany.

He said instead of involving State agencies, the system should take the impeachment Motion to Parliament “so that they can see where the real numbers are.”

Similar views were shared by Cherargei, who claimed that the system was trying to use every dirty trick in the book to frustrate the DP.

“These people came up with impeachment Motion but because they realised it cannot go through, they have now resorted to all manner of dirty tricks to edge Ruto out. What they are forgetting is that the two (Uhuru and Ruto) were elected on a joint ticket,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing residents after opening Soweto new Hospitals in Kayole on Friday February 19, 2021. [File, Boniface Okendo, Standard]

But Uhuru's allies said Ruto’s woes were self-inflicted by his impatience and unbridled ambition to succeed Uhuru.

Cotu boss Francis Atwoli challenged Ruto to resign as he cannot be in government and in opposition at the same time.

“Looking for power is not about chest-thumping and looking down upon your boss. If he doesn’t respect others, who will respect him? He is saying that he will not resign; he should resign,” said Atwoli.

He dismissed claims that Uhuru was the one sidelining Ruto in the running of government, saying that the DP had isolated himself by critisising the government instead of helping the President achieve his agenda for the country.

“I have known Uhuru for a while; he is a gentleman and cannot convene a Cabinet meeting without inviting the DP. It is him who has decided to snub the President,” he said.

Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe, a fierce Ruto critic, said instead of grumbling, the DP should pack and leave the government.

Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe at Jubilee Headquarters in Nairobi on June 6, 2020. [ File, Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Murathe said the DP had made it fashionable to complain about the government despite being part of it.

“I am not aware of any plan to kick him out of the government but if he wants to leave, he can go ahead and leave,” said Murathe.

He dismissed claims that Ruto was not invited to last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.

“If you are a member of the Cabinet and there is a meeting you have to attend, you don’t wait to be invited,” he said.

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju accused the Tangatanga brigade of engaging in unnecessary sideshows that have continued to derail Uhuru’s development agenda.

“We are busy with many things including government development projects and not unnecessary political talks that we are treated to every single day,” said Tuju.